Category Archives: Obama

“Just Words” From Dear Leader…

Our Dear Leader, that is. The other Dear Leader had more than words. I’m talking about Kim Jong il, communist dictator of the police state known as North Korea: He had a long-range, multi-stage rocket to launch through the airspace of American friend and ally, the free and democratic nation of Japan.

But don’t worry, Barack Obama is delivering soaring speeches to adoring throngs in Europe. The President spoke in the Czech Republic capitol of Prague yesterday, outlining nuclear non-proliferation goals and his hopes for full scale global disarmament.

After the speech I was doing a little research, and my mood is now piqued after spending some time on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea website. It would be funny if real human beings were not living under the oppressive control of this despotic regime. The site is a series of sycophantic odes to a psycho; an amateurish attempt at appearing credible to the outside world.

(Among the most pitiful pages were PDF documents boasting black and white photos of scooters supposedly manufactured in the DPRK; another page offered patriotic songs for download, complete with fawning children’s choruses, presumably singing the Leader’s praises).

So it is upsetting to hear Barack Obama fail to take a tailor-made opportunity to call out Kim Jong il for what he was, and denounce in the harshest possible terms not only his rocket test but the brutality of his regime generally. With the eyes of the world upon him as he spoke in an historic outdoor square behind the Iron Curtain, he could have told the large crowd of supportive Europeans how he felt about conditions in the DPRK.

Instead, he devoted less than 5% of his speech to the provocation, and said nothing about the government’s treatment of its people. He did say a “strong international response” was merited, but did not get into the substance of what that might mean.

(Although, to infer from this line, with emphasis added: “…and North Korea must know that the path to security and respect will never come through threats and illegal weapons,” perhaps he is intentionally signaling that use-of-force options are still on the table).

Ultimately, the rocket test served to remind us how idealistic – and unrealistic – total disarmament is in a world where rogue regimes and bad actors exist. These guys are always going to seek bigger and better weapons, and we’re always going to need something to defend and deter.

See:

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Filed under National Security, Obama

Another Obama pick tainted

The former offices of President Barack Obama’s pick as the government’s chief information officer were raided by the FBI this morning. The action followed a bribery sting involving a federal employee and private contractor. Local radio station WTOP has the story, which was highlighted in the Drudge Report this morning.

While Vivek Kundra now longer serves as chief technology officer for the city of Washington, D.C.,  he was in the position until March 4. This was not confirmed by the story, but it seems reasonable to assume that this probe was under way while Kundra was in office.

At present, Kundra has not been accused of any wrongdoing, and there’s no evidence that implicates him in this criminal investigation.

Nonetheless, the revelation does not reflect positively on Kundra. At a minimum, if he was there while criminal activity was ocurring under his supervision,  it may raise questions about the adequacy of his management.

This incident adds to the ever-growing list of nomination embarrassments for the administrations. When will it stop?

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Filed under Corruption, Obama

With friends like this….

President Barack Obama gave a rather cold reception to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week, avoiding traditional symbolic gestures of friendship and respect towards America’s steadfast ally and downplaying the historic partnership the world’s leading countries have long enjoyed.  Dana Milbank writes it up in the Washington Post.

Why?

Well, it could be a misguided attempt to signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. will be more diplomatic. More “multi-lateral.” But dissing a close diplomatic, economic, military and cultural ally doesn’t seem to enhance diplomacy.

Or it could perhaps be that Obama does not want to strengthen or lend prestige to America’s relationship with Britain because of its stature as a (relatively) free economic system. Rewarding something you (Obama) disdain (capitalism) does not come natural, and in terms of Europe, Britain represents free-market economics. 

And finally, (and this relates to the first two points) Obama simply may not seen Britain as the natural ally that past presidents have. He clearly wants to take the nation in a new direction, so why emphasize connections with a country who represents so much of our traditional political, economic and social customs and values?

In a time when America needs strong allies, and when the world needs the leadership of countries like the U.S. and Britain, this is a foolish way to treat our great friend and partner, Great Britain.

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Here a Tea Party, there a Tea Party

Hundreds of citizens braved icy temperatures in Kansas City, Missouri yesterday to protest the government’s actions to socialize the economy. Objecting in particular to Sen. Claire McCaskill‘s (D-Missouri) vote in favor of President Barack Obama‘s massive spending package, the demonstrators staged a “tea party” in the fashion of early revolutionary patriots.

A number of similar events have been held throughout the state and nation in recent days. One participant was kind enough to email some photos from yesterday’s event:

In Kansas City, Missouri, citizens gathered in opposition to President Barack Obama's efforts to nationalize the economy

Citizens gathered near the J.C. Nichols Fountain to oppose President Obama's efforts to nationalize the economy

Beginning the march to Sen. Claire McCaskill's office

They then marched to Sen. Claire McCaskill's local office

Hundreds marched through snow and ice

Hundreds trekked in frigid conditions

Protestors demonstrated near Sen. McCaskill's office in Westport

Protesters demonstrated near Sen. McCaskill's office in Westport

If you have any more photos you’d like to share, please send them my way and I’ll consider posting them. If you were there (or even if you weren’t), please share any of your personal observations in the comments section!

I can only hope that such efforts will continue. Ace – the individual who sent me the photos – estimated that about 200 people showed up for the event. If that many will show up on the first day of snow in months, then that’s good news for future such events.

The Kansas City Star covered the event here. In the small piece devoted to the event, the newspaper did not publish any photos (unless they ran some in the print edition).

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Filed under Bailouts, Conservative Movement, Missouri Politics, Obama, Statism, Stimulus

Tea parties continue with large STL turnout

From John Combest, a round-up on yesterday’s St. Louis Tea Party, which as many as 1,500 people attended:

More pics from Shamed Dogan, who chronicled the event first hand.

And in Springfield, Missouri, again via Combest:

And in Kansas City, Missouri this morning, tea-partyers were expected to meet at the J.C. Nichols Fountain and march on to Sen. Claire McCaskill‘s district office, expressing opposition to her vote for the stimulus package.

The St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City tea parties are part of a national response to Obama’s actions to increase government spending and expand the State. CNBC reporter Rick Santelli sparked the idea in his recent on-air rallying cry for freedom and capitalism in the face of threats from Obama.

Will these public demonstrations make a difference? The stimulus package has already passed, and Obama’s budget proposal looks as fat as it ever.

The impact of theses rallies, then,  is to chip away at Obama’s public facade, to take some of the sheen off his image. The rallies signal to the general public  that it’s not only okay criticize Obama – but that thousands are already taking to the streets to do so.

A PR impact – as opposed to a policy impact – may seem small consolation, but given the type of media coverage, still high (but declining) approval ratings and the general cult of personality Obama has enjoyed, these successful tea parties are of huge importance, and a good place from which to build opposition momentum.

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Filed under Conservative Movement, Missouri Politics, Obama, Stimulus

“A Radical Presidency”

A must-read column, from Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal. (More Henninger, on video.)

It’s scary that we (and by that I mean Obama voters, of course) got ourselves into this mess…..will the nation ever be able to recover from what Obama plans to do it?

But hey, don’t worry – the powerful Mr. Obama is going to provide for:

Peggy’s gas and mortgage….

Henrietta’s house…

and Julio’s welfare benefits…

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Filed under Obama, Obamamania

Obama sets his sights on Second Amendment

Did anyone seriously doubt that once elected, President Barack Obama would begin working to take away our rights as protected by the Second Amendment? ABC News reports that Attorney General Eric Holder has announced the administration will seek to outlaw semi-automatic firearms through the so-called “Assault Weapons Ban.”

Holder blamed rising violence along the Mexican border as one reason for the move. Will criminals and drug cartels  suddenly drop their weapons because of this new bill? Of course not. Will they stop buying weapons on the black market? Not a chance. But the law will probably prevent farmers, ranchers and other law-abiding Americans – like those on the border – from carrying such weapons for their own protection or enjoyment.

As some of you know, I am returning to school to earn a degree in political science. This semester I am taking American National Government at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. Several weeks ago, our instructor mocked gun shop owners, sportsman and other gun users and groups like the National Rifle Association, saying they were hyping Obama’s anti-gun intentions to scare people and push gun sales. This instructor laughed off the notion that Obama would go after guns. I pointed to his actual record on the issue, but I was lectured that he has more important things to do. The instructor was naive at best, intentionally misleading at worst.

Responding to the administration’s signal, NRA President Wayne LaPierre said “A semi-automatic is a quintessential self-defense firearm owned by American citizens in this country. I think it is clearly covered under Heller and it’s clearly, I think, protected by the Constitution.”

From a political standpoint, the silver lining here could be twofold:

1. Obama picks a fight with Second Amendment supporters, and loses, thereby wasting his political capitol.

2. Obama presses House leadership to bring this to a vote in the next two years, and forces Blue Dog Democrats and freshmen Dems from conservative-leaning districts to go on the record against guns rights, thereby harming their chances for re-election.

Said LaPierre, “I think there are a lot of Democrats on Capitol Hill cringing at Eric Holder’s comments right now.”

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Filed under Obama, Second Amendment